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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

300+ stories later, I’m almost out of words

It turned out that a week of sleepless nights in December of 2021, just a few months before I began as Sports Editor, was just some foreshadowing to a wild year that defined a significant part of my college experience. While the resignation of Brian Kelly and ensuing hire of Marcus Freeman remained one of the biggest storylines in recent years at Notre Dame, the major headlines piled up. 

Notre Dame returned to March Madness in both men’s and women’s basketball, with the women’s team making it to the Sweet 16. A second straight fencing national championship (shout out incoming Assistant Managing Editor Joche Sanchez Cordova for patiently explaining the sport to me). The Irish returned to the College World Series, a wild postseason run I oversaw remotely while starting an internship in Baltimore. 

Link Jarrett left for Florida State, and Shawn Stiffler entered. Salima Rockwell began the Rockwell Era for Notre Dame volleyball. When Mike Brey announced his pending resignation, I joked with a few of my writers that I might resign myself if another coach unexpectedly left Notre Dame while I was Sports Editor. But Tommy Rees proved me a liar. I’m still here (you can’t get rid of me quite yet).

Eleven months ago, I talked a little about how I got here. I didn’t expect it, and I wasn’t really sure what was to come. My first byline came in the form of a handwritten article covering the Gorham-Sanford high school football game when I was ten years old. A new passion, one that took me further than I expected, emerged. Since I became Sports Editor, I wrote about 120 stories and edited countless more. Overall at The Observer, I’ve written over 300 stories. Some were written at a normal time of day, from press boxes, my house, dorm room or Duncan Student Center. Others were written in the office, at 2 in the morning, as news broke or space needed to be filled in that day’s paper. One was written from the Linebacker (I’ll shoutout former Observer Editor-in-Chief Douglas Farmer for introducing me to the world of filing stories from a bar — if he happens to read this, I appreciate it). 

I embraced the opportunity to not only cover the biggest stories in Notre Dame sports but also to find stories within every sport across the tri-campus community. I hope, across the past year, I served the Irish, Belles and Saints’ sports communities well and to the best of my ability. 

But now, with my time with The Observer coming to an end, it’s time to get ready to say goodbye. I don’t know exactly what’s next for me yet (and I continue the amazingly fun and not-at-all-stressful job search process). It may not include bylines, and if my stories at The Observer are the last I’ll write, I feel confident I wrote my final published words for an outlet I love about a sports community I’ve been privileged to cover. 

So thank you. To the Notre Dame SIDs and coaches, thank you for your continued relationship with The Observer and for helping with all the requests I’ve made over the past year. To Notre Dame beat writers who I learned from just by reading your work. To the other editors at The Observer and the writers in the sports department, thank you for all the amazing work and efforts to produce content under tough and frequently unexpected deadlines. To the former sports editor who convinced me to apply for this role in the first place. Thank you to everyone who impacted this past year. Although I’ll appreciate a more regulated sleep schedule, I wouldn’t have changed a minute. 

And of course, as I wrote a year ago, thank you to my dad. For being my introduction to the world of sports and deadlines, my first editor and not only the writer, but the man I continue to aspire to be. Thank you for being the biggest reason I’m writing this farewell column in the first place. 

300+ stories later, I finally might be out of words (or at least, I need to save a few for the last few stories I’ll write as a washed-up senior sports writer). It’s been a pleasure being your Sports Editor. Thank you all.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.